What they're saying: Cooper Taylor

May, 3, 2013
5/03/13
6:00
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We're taking a little closer look at each draft pick and what the Giants' brass is saying about the newcomers.

Fifth-round pick: S Cooper Taylor, Richmond

Here's our rapid reaction on Taylor and what the Giants' brass is saying about him:

Marc Ross: Just at that point in the draft we think we got a hidden gem there. This guy is big, fast, smart, plays the game the right way. He does a lot of things for Richmond. They line him up at multiple positions. You’ll see him in the box; you’ll see him back deep. He covers the slot. Productive there. He transferred from Georgia Tech, but we think this guy has got a lot of upside. Sent our (safeties) coach (Dave) Merritt down there to work him out-a private workout and he was really impressed by him. We had him in for a visit. The kid is really smart. Loves football, so we think he has a ton of upside.

Tom Coughlin: Young safety who has the great, great numbers –- 6-4 plus, 228. Really good test score –- 44.5 range. He had four interceptions, 78 tackles this past year. We are hoping that he is going to come in and apply all of the tools that he has right away there in the secondary for us. He is a safety by trade but you drop him down in that three-safety package or whatever you want to do... whether he plays an outside backer or whatever. That is all going to have to be determined when we get him in here.

Jerry Reese: Big size-speed safety that we think has a really nice upside. I can envision him honestly on special teams with that size and speed. I can envision him being that third safety in some of the three-safety looks that (defensive coordinator) Perry Fewell likes to use sometimes... (Taylor's heart condition is) nothing significant for our trainers and doctors right now. They cleared him and they don’t really have any real concerns.

Analysis: Taylor is perhaps the most intriguing draft pick of the '13 class. He ran a 4.49 in the 40 at the Spiders' Pro Day. He reportedly performed well in the East-West Shrine game and was considered by some pro teams to be a potential Cover-2 outside linebacker prospect. Health, though, has been a concern in the past. He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and had surgery to correct the heart condition in 2009. He's dealt with knee and pectoral injuries along with two broken hands since 2011 as well. But best-case scenario is he becomes an instant special teams contributor and perhaps challenges for Fewell's third safety spot. Will Hill, Ryan Mundy, Taylor and Tyler Sash will all compete for that spot.

So, you guys excited about what Taylor might be able to do? Who do you want to see as the third safety this season?
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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